Carlow University

Carlow University Hosts Faith Forum Titled “The Muslim Next Door”

Students and Speakers from the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh and the Turkish Cultural Center Will Answer Questions About the Teachings and Practices of Islam

Pittsburgh, Pa., February 1, 2016 – The Center for Mercy Heritage and Service at Carlow University will be hosting a Faith Forum titled “The Muslim Next Door,” a panel presentation by Muslims from diverse cultures answering questions about the teaching and practices of Islam. 

The presentation is free and open to the public and takes place at 4 p.m. on January 27, 2016, in the Kresge Center, located on the fifth floor of Carlow’s University Commons building.

“Through the Faith Forums, the Office of Campus Ministry seeks to offer educational opportunities for our diverse community of learners,” said Siobhan K. DeWitt, director of Campus Ministry at Carlow.  “’The Muslim Next Door’ is an opportunity for the Carlow community to gain a better understanding of Islam directly from people who live their faith.”

The panel presentation will include Muslims who were born into the faith, both in the United States and overseas, as well as a recent convert to Islam.

The presenters include:

Wasi Mohamed, the executive director of the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh.  He is an American-born Muslim of Indian heritage.

Kelcey Sharkas, the director of programming and outreach coordinator for the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh.  She converted to the Islam in 2014.

Hannah Tajuddin is an undergraduate student at Carlow, majoring in accounting, forensic accounting, and business management.  She was born into the Islamic faith.

Sebnem Unlu, PhD, executive committee member of the Turkish Center of Pittsburgh, as well as a member of the planning team of the Greater Pittsburgh Interfaith Council.

For more information about “The Muslim Next Door,” please e-mail


Carlow University Celebrates Breast Cancer Awareness Month with Special Events

Both events celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month and precede by two days the opening of the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition’s exhibit, “67 Women, 67 Counties: Facing Breast Cancer in Pennsylvania.”

Pittsburgh, Pa., October 14, 2015 – On Wednesday, October 14, students, faculty, and staff will gather at the St. Joseph Hall Gymnasium at 5 p.m. to walk the perimeter of the Carlow campus.  The walk begins and ends at St. Joseph Hall, and all proceeds will go to Allegheny General Hospital Breast Cancer Fund.  Walkers usually circumnavigate the campus five times in the space of an hour.

“This has become an annual event which raises both money and awareness of breast cancer prevention,” said Christopher Meaner, director of Campus Life and Student Activities at Carlow University.  “Our students look forward to participating in this event each year.”

After the walk, beginning at 6 p.m., it is time for “Bras for a Cause,” a fashionable campaign in support of breast cancer survivors and national breast cancer organizations, that happens inside the St. Joseph Hall Gym.  Students will be decorating sports bras to help raise awareness and funds to eradicate breast and cervical cancer.  Bras will be provided, or students may bring one to donate.  Funds raised for this event go to Allegheny General Hospital Breast Cancer Fund.

“With Bras for a Cause, we are supporting women in creative and powerful ways,” said Gwendolyn Stevens, assistant director of Campus Life and Residence Life. “Our ultimate goal is to end breast and cervical cancer, but we can have a fun and creative time doing it.”

Then on Friday, October 16, beginning at 5:30 p.m. in Carlow’s A.J. Palumbo Hall of Science and Technology, located on the corner of Fifth and Craft avenues, a photography exhibit, “67 Women, 67 Counties: Facing Breast Cancer in Pennsylvania.”  The exhibit will be displayed in the atrium of A.J. Palumbo Hall, and it features Carlow University’s Diane Matthews, PhD, a professor and director of the Master’s program in fraud and forensics, who is also a breast cancer survivor.

Matthews had the opportunity to accept a proclamation from Pittsburgh City Council on Tuesday, October 6, recognizing the exhibit coming to Carlow, and honoring all cancer survivors. In accepting the proclamation, Matthews said, “I am honored to accept this proclamation on behalf of cancer survivors at Carlow University, in the City of Pittsburgh, and in western Pennsylvania, and especially in memory of all those who fought this horrible disease so valiantly and are now at peace. Let’s defeat cancer soon!”


Sharon Epperson Will Give Carlow University Commencement Address

Pittsburgh Native and CNBC Correspondent Will Be Featured Speaker on May 9

Pittsburgh, Pa., April 08, 2015 – Carlow University announced Sharon Epperson, a CNBC correspondent, will be the keynote speaker for its Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 9, 2015 at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall.  The ceremony begins with the academic procession at 12:45 p.m.

A Pittsburgh native, Epperson serves as CNBC’s Personal Finance Correspondent and Senior Commodities Correspondent. She also regularly contributes to NBC’s “Today” and, as well as NBC Nightly News, MSNBC, CNBC’s “On the Money,” and Public Television’s “Nightly Business Report.”

Epperson received the Alliance for Women in Media’s 2014 Gracie Award for Outstanding Online Host for her “Financial Advisor Playbook” video series on She won the Vanguard Award from the National Urban League Guild and the All-Star Award from the Association of Women in Communications. The New York Festivals, the New York Association of Black Journalists, and the National Association of Black Journalists have also honored Epperson with various awards.

Numerous publications have featured Epperson’s personal financial expertise, such as USA Weekend, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Self, Essence, Ebony, and TIME.

Committed to improving financial literacy, Epperson frequently speaks at conferences and events for local and national organizations, colleges and universities. Her book, The Big Payoff: 8 Steps Couples Can Take to Make the Most of Their Money-and Live Richly Ever After, was a finalist for the Books for a Better Life Award.

Epperson enjoys working with students as an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School of International Public Affairs. Her course on professional development for graduate students interested in media careers focuses on the importance of budgeting and building long-term savings.

Epperson received her bachelor’s degree in sociology and government from Harvard University and her master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University. She resides in Westchester County, N.Y. with her husband and two children.


Derek M. Wesley Appointed Vice President for Advancement at Carlow University

Graduate of UMass and Providence College, Was VP of Advancement at Alfred State College in New York

Pittsburgh, Pa., March 13, 2015 – Derek M. Wesley, EdD, who has worked in fundraising leadership positions for nearly 15 years, has been named Vice President for Advancement at Carlow University effective May 4, 2015. He has been serving as Vice President of Institutional Advancement at Alfred State College in Alfred, New York, since 2011.

“The position of Vice President for Advancement is critical to helping Carlow transform and reach a new and aspiring level of philanthropic giving, one that will put us on a sustainable path for success in the coming years,” said Carlow University President Suzanne Mellon, PhD. “Dr. Wesley is an accomplished advancement professional with comprehensive higher education and campaign experience. His successful career of alumni engagement, maximizing fundraising and outreach efforts and developing a culture of giving will advance Carlow’s vision and priorities.”

Wesley comes to Carlow with a wealth of expertise in development strategy and execution. At Alfred State College, he was responsible for all major fundraising activities including major gifts, annual fund, alumni relations and corporate relations. Additionally, he served as Executive Director for the College's Foundation to advance and promote the interests of the institution. During his tenure, he helped realize a 61 percent increase in annual voluntary support and worked with the Foundation Board to increase the endowment by over 23 percent.

From 2007-2011, he held the position of Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Mount Marty College in Yankton, South Dakota, where he oversaw an 84 percent increase in annual giving over a four-year period and increased President's Society giving by $930,000 during the same timeframe. He also provided leadership for a comprehensive campaign effort for the institution and helped secure $1.8 million in support for the renovation of the College’s Science Center.

Earlier in his career Wesley served as Assistant Director, Operations and Research, in the Alumni/Development Office at Providence College in Rhode Island, and as Assistant Director, Special Gifts and Catholic Education for the Diocese of Providence, providing him with a keen understanding of Carlow’s unique role in the Catholic and higher education communities.

Wesley received an EdD in Educational Leadership from Johnson & Wales University, a Masters in Educational Administration as well as History from Providence College, and a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of MassachusettsAmherst.


Lynn George Named Inaugural Dean of Carlow University's College of Health and Wellness

New Dean Has a Passion for High Quality Education that Is Transformational and Learner Focused

Pittsburgh, Pa., March 2, 2015 – Lynn George, PhD, RN, CNE, has been named inaugural dean of the College of Health and Wellness at Carlow University effective July 1, 2015. She has been serving as Associate Dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Robert Morris University since 2006 and as a faculty member there since 2003.

“It’s Carlow’s vision to build on the excellence of our nursing programs and extend our reach into new health care careers needed for the workforce in this region and beyond. Key to our success is the founding dean of the College of Health and Wellness,” said Carlow University President Suzanne Mellon, PhD. “Dr. George is an exceptional leader and educator who has a firm understanding of the landscape of health care and health care education needed to address this critical area in our region.”

A passion for high quality education that is transformational and learner focused, George was instrumental in growing enrollment and providing academic leadership and direction for all programs in the School of Nursing and Health Sciences during her tenure at Robert Morris University. Her many accomplishments include the development and administration of the RN-to-MSN online program and the curriculum revision for the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program. Additionally, she was part of the administrative team that launched the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, worked to transition a hybrid undergraduate program in Health Services Administration (HSAM) to a fully online program, and secured funding for student scholarships and research.

“With her professional experience, outstanding skills and demonstrated ability to collaborate successfully both internally and externally, we’re certain that Dr. George will be a tremendous asset in her role as dean,” said Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Deanne D'Emilio, JD. “I’m confident that she will help to advance Carlow as a premier center for health education and innovation.”

In her more than 25 years in academia, George has held numerous faculty and leadership positions. Earlier in her career, she served as department head for the nursing program at the Community College of Allegheny County – Boyce Campus, where she facilitated learning experiences for students and mentored faculty.

George received a PhD in Nursing from Duquesne University, a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in Nursing Education from the University of Pittsburgh and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Her honors include being named a Leadership for Academic Nursing Program Fellow by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and a Cameos of Caring Nurse Educator Award for teaching excellence. She has also served as a member of the Board of Directors at Heritage Valley Health System since 2009.

In 2014, a faculty-driven initiative led to the reorganization of Carlow’s existing academic structure and the creation of three new colleges. Designed to foster distinctive learning, diversify programs and formats, and grow partnerships, this new academic structure will propel the University forward into the future aligned with the strategic plan and new vision. The College of Health and Wellness is currently comprised of undergraduate degrees in nursing and a new respiratory care program, Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN), Education and Leadership, Nursing (MSN), MSN-MBA Dual Degree and a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).  


Carlow University Students Spend Spring Break Serving Communities

Students Head to North Carolina, Texas and Some Will Serve in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, Pa., February 27, 2015 – A college student’s spring break typically consists of taking it easy and doing absolutely nothing. However, Carlow University students will be doing something productive yet fun by embarking on Alternative Spring Break (ASB) trips.  

“People understand that there is value in service,” said Gabriel Suarez, Director of Carlow’s Mercy Center for Service. “You can spend your vacation doing something that is bigger than yourself while still making personal connections.”

For the week of March 9-13, 2015, Carlow students were given the choice to spend their spring breaks in Hamptonville, NC, working for the first time with Well of Mercy; in Laredo, TX, working with Habitat for Humanity; or in Pittsburgh with the purpose of fulfilling different community needs. Carlow has been sending students on ASB trips for over 15 years, and prior to this year had served various cities in the US, as well as projects in Jamaica, St. Croix, and Ireland.

Suarez and Sister Sheila Carney, Special Assistant to the President of Mercy Center for Service, will be leading a group of six students to North Carolina to work at Well of Mercy. The Sisters of Mercy sponsored sanctuary is based around reflection and silence, and is open to individuals looking to temporarily escape the demands of daily life.   

While at Well of Mercy, these six students will help with upkeep, maintenance, and painting, but will also get a chance to learn more about its mission and how it serves the community. They will stay in one of the two guesthouses that includes a common room, a kitchen, and plenty of space for the students to gather when they are not working.

The students will also get a chance to visit Belmont, NC and see some of the other Sisters of Mercy ministries there, including group homes for those with intellectual disabilities and battered women and children. This will allow them to see the more dynamic side of community and the need for belonging.

Of course, there will be time for fun, too. Well of Mercy is only open for guests Wednesday through Sunday, so at the beginning of the week the students will have some time on their own when they can hang out on site or explore nearby Charlotte, NC. Once the facilities are open for business, the real work will begin.

Suarez explained that Well of Mercy was chosen because it offers great value to students. The students will be able to delve into the uses of meditation and reflection to clear the mind, while observing how a sense of community can heal a person. Plus, since Well of Mercy is a non-profit organization and runs solely on the donations of its supporters, it welcomes the chance to receive help from the students.

“There are plenty of altruistic reasons for getting involved in service,” said Suarez, “but there are also opportunities for professional development, networking, and finding out what interests you.” This will be his first ABS with Carlow, but Suarez is excited to get out to North Carolina.

Leading up to the trip, the students must attend eight meetings to learn about the founding of Well of Mercy, talk about the need for silence and different philosophies regarding reflection, and explore the spaces needed for silence. There are three more meetings after the trip as well, where the students will debrief and reflect on their own experiences. One credit is awarded to the students who partake in the program and costs are covered by the University.


Carlow University's Bowls of Clay Make Hunger Go Away

"Bowls in the Night" to Give Annual Donation to Hunger Awareness Dinner

Pittsburgh, Pa., January 27, 2015 – Artists who get together to “throw clay” aren’t necessarily slinging mud at each other. At least, that’s not what they’re supposed to do.

Instead, on Thursday, February 5 at Carlow’s Annual “Bowls in the Night” Pottery Marathon, local artists and art students will sit at pottery wheels from 5 PM – 1 AM to make clay bowls for Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and Just Harvest’s Empty Bowls Hunger Awareness Dinner.

“This event not only benefits an incredibly worthy cause, but it is also an opportunity for the students to learn how to use their talents outside of the classroom to serve others,” says Dale Huffman, who hosts the marathon each year. 

The artists spin the clay around and around, using their hands and other tools to craft the clay into beautiful bowls. The slow transformation is an intriguing process to watch, with the clay’s shape molding at the slightest touch. About 200-250 bowls are made at just one “Bowls in the Night” marathon.

The bowls are used to serve meals at the dinner and patrons can take one home as a reminder of the charitable cause.

Huffman, an internationally renowned potter, has been teaching at Carlow since 1996 as an art professor. He was mentioned in the September 2014 issue of Pittsburgh Magazine in an article about the best professors and classes in the region for his generous donations to Empty Bowls.

This year will mark the 20th annual Empty Bowls dinner so far. At the dinner, a modest meal of soup and bread is served to remind the community that millions of Americans go hungry every day.

Last year’s Empty Bowls dinner had almost 1000 people in attendance. Local celebrities such as Miss Pennsylvania Annie Rosellini, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, and Mayor Bill Peduto helped to serve food provided by top restaurants across the country. Jimmy Fallon, Martin Sheen, and players from Pittsburgh’s major sports teams were among the famous celebrities who autographed bowls to be auctioned.

Since its start, Empty Bowls has raised over half a million dollars—over $40,000 last year alone—to help fight hunger in the Greater Pittsburgh Area. This year’s dinner will be held on March 29 at Rodef Shalom Congregation in Oakland. For more information on Empty Bowls, contact Just Harvest at 412-431-8960 or visit online at


Carlow University Names Two Directors of the MBA Program

Carlow Faculty Members Enrique Mu, PhD, and Howard Stern, PhD, Will Lead the Graduate Program

Pittsburgh, Pa. – With the new academic year set to begin, Carlow University has named Enrique Mu, PhD, and Howard Stern, PhD, as directors of its master’s program in business administration (MBA). 

In announcing the appointments, Deanne H. D’Emilio, JD, the dean of the School of Management, said, “Drs. Mu and Stern bring a wealth of knowledge, experience and leadership in a variety of areas that will bring great value to Carlow’s MBA program.”

Mu, an associate professor in the School of Management at Carlow since 2007, is an accomplished scholar and educator, who is editor-in-chief of the International Journal of the Analytic Hierarchy Process (IJAHP) dedicated to the diffusion of rational decision making, and U.S. director for the Latin American Society for Strategy. 

Prior to joining the Carlow faculty, he served as program director for the dual-degree MBA/MIS program in the Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh. Before entering academe, he worked for Black Box Corporation, a Pittsburgh-based, data communications company, as business development manager for Latin America and as a customer support vice president for Comlasa Ltd., a computing solution firm, in the same region. He has been a project manager for several multimillion-dollar online banking automation projects in Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, and Chile.

Mu’s recent research includes the use of decision-making methodologies for eyewitness identification, which was funded by Carlow’s Grace Ann Geibel Institute for Justice and Social Responsibility as a signature project.  He has presented conference papers based on this research in the Netherlands and Malaysia this summer.  He earned the best conference paper award in Malaysia.

In April, at Carlow’s annual Honors Convocation, Mu was awarded The Dorothy Weber Cochran ’43 Award for Excellence in Faculty Scholarship and Research.  The Cochran award is the highest level of recognition for faculty scholarship and research at Carlow.  He also earned the competitive research credit release for Fall 2013.
Stern, an assistant professor in the School of Management, was the director and chief information officer (CIO) for the City of Pittsburgh until 2011.  He was named CIO of the Year by the Pittsburgh Technology Council and the Greater Pittsburgh CIO Group in 2011.  He was interim CIO for Carlow in 2012.

Stern holds a PhD in political science and public policy from West Virginia University as well as master’s degrees in public administration and information technology from the University of Pittsburgh.   He recently co-authored (along with Dr. Mu) a paper based on his experience managing IT projects at the City of Pittsburgh, and it was published by the Journal of Information Technology Management.


Carlow University Alumna Establishes Miles Against Melanoma Scholarship

Jessica Vega-Rogowicz Wants Students to Go to Carlow, Not Go to the Dermatologist to Treat Skin Cancer

Pittsburgh, Pa. – Many universities’ alumni create scholarships to encourage others to attend their alma mater, and so does the scholarship created by Carlow University alumna Jessica Vega-Rogowicz.  It’s what the scholarship tries to discourage that sets it apart.

“During my college years, I was unaware of the damaging effect of sun and tanning bed exposure,” said Vega-Rogowicz, who graduated from Carlow in 2004 with a dual degree in elementary and special education.  “I vacationed yearly at the beach and started using tanning beds while I was in college.”

The “Jessica Vega-Rogowicz Miles Against Melanoma Scholarship” provides $1,000 for education majors to use for their studies.  As part of the application process, students are asked to submit a lesson plan that teaches students how to be safe in the sun to avoid health hazards like melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer.

“I established a scholarship because I feel it is good to give back and help someone with his or her college expenses,” said Vega-Rogowicz, who lives in Baldwin, Pa., and is a middle school teacher in the Hempfield School District.  “I also hope to encourage a teacher or future teacher to think about how they might raise awareness of sun safety in their students.”

Sun safety is crucially important to Vega-Rogowicz, as the cumulative effects of all that tanning caused her to be diagnosed, in 2006, with melanoma. She had a recurrence of melanoma in a different area in 2011.

“I thought I looked better with a tan, and I didn’t think much about the health risks,” she said.  “In my early 20s, I thought I would live forever.  I didn’t realize that skin cancer could be deadly.”

After her second diagnosis of melanoma, Vega-Rogowicz decided she wanted to spread awareness about the disease by forming a chapter of Miles Against Melanoma in the Pittsburgh area.  “Miles Against Melanoma” is a nationwide non-profit organization whose mission is to fight melanoma by increasing awareness, by supporting patients, survivors and families, and by fundraising for research.

“Being part of something like Miles Against Melanoma helps you realize you are not the only one in the world who has had melanoma,” she said.

During the Pittsburgh Chapter’s inaugural year, the organization raised $25,000 through a dinner event, a golf outing, a wine tasting, and a 5k run/walk.  The proceeds benefited the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.  She hopes to grow the chapter even larger and spread awareness about sun safety.  Her latest effort to get the word out is through establishing the scholarship at Carlow.

“When you are diagnosed with cancer, it hits you – I have cancer – and it makes a huge emotional impact,” she said.  “I had a lot of negative energy and I needed to channel it in a positive way.  Establishing a scholarship is one more positive way that I can raise awareness about sun safety.”